Friday 14 April 2017

Umrah 2017 Photo Diary: Madinah.

Assalamu alaikum wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuhu!

In the Name of Allah, Most Gracious, Most Merciful

Welcome to Madinah!
Madinah is the city that became home to the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) after he was forced to leave Makkah. This is the city of peace and to this day, it is exactly that. The atmosphere, the breeze, the people - everything is peaceful in Madinah especially because it is home to the resting place of the Prophet (peace be upon him) and his mosque. I shared a lot from my daily life in Madinah on Snapchat but I took loads of photos too. Here are a few:

Stopping to pray on our way to Madinah. Our driver was pretty fast so the journey took around 3 and 1/2 hours in a car.

Since it was a Saturday, we decided to stop off at Masjid Quba before entering Madinah.

We discovered the upstairs ladies section. It had so much more room unlike its downstairs counterpart. We prayed Asr here before entering Madinah itself.

It was really nice to come to Quba before going into Madinah because that's exactly what the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) did when he first arrived.

And, he would also visit the mosque at Quba on a Saturday too!

We got to our hotel just before Maghrib. We stayed at the Pullman Zam Zam hotel and this was the view from the window. A few floors higher and we would have been able to see the green dome itself!

The hotel is on the green dome side which I must say, is a lot less busy than the other side where the Hilton Hotel is.

This chocolate ice cream was so good at the time but I really regretted it the next morning once the sore throat hit.

Spicy fried chicken with garlic sauce for Sunday brunch!

First mosque visit!

It was a little walk from our hotel to the women's section of the mosque but it was really nice to be able to go past the green dome every time. Under the green dome is the grave of the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him).

The beautiful minarets of the Prophet's mosque.

The best time to sit outside is after Asr.

Such a beautiful, peaceful, chilled part of the day.

Watching the umbrellas close.

We waited for the Maghrib adhan and prayed outside. I love praying outside in Madinah.

Plus I shared my Hadith of the day from the best place. I share a new Hadith every morning on Snapchat - you should come join me. My username is muslimgirlbakes.

Chocolate doughnuts and strawberry milkshakes before Isha.

First stop on the Madinah tour - Masjid Quba. The women's section was super chilled.

How pretty is this tree outside?

I love the white minaret against the blue skies.

We went into a museum opposite Masjid Quba. It's called the Refuge of Faith exhibition.

A model of Madinah before the mosque got really big.

A map showing the houses of the Prophet's Companions around the Prophet's mosque.

There was also a little section of the museum devoted to the Quran and calligraphy.

I always love visiting Masjid Quba. It can get quite busy on a Saturday but we went during the week as well when it wasn't so busy. 

Driving through Madinah past all lots of palm trees and tiny mosques.

Visiting the mountain of Uhud, the site of the second battle of Islam, and home to the graves of the martyrs who died there.

A mural showing what happened during the battle.

Driving past pretty houses and gardens.

Stopping to shop for dates.

Beautiful waterfalls on the road back to the hotel.

These flowers were so beautiful.

The best iced cappuccino after a long morning!

My favourite part of the day in Madinah, just before sunset and Maghrib when the mosque would be at its most beautiful.

Our main purpose in coming to Madinah is to visit the grave of the Prophet (peace be upon him) and send our peace and salutations to him in person. This, as many of you told me, is usually easier said than done when it comes to the ladies.

Because we've been to Madinah many times before, we're pretty used to going for Salaam. We always go for our Salaam after Isha and even then, we delay leaving the hotel until around 10pm. Once the main rush has died down, we go into the mosque and through to the Rawdah where the Prophet's (peace be upon him) grave is. The women won't actually get to see the grave in person but will be allowed to stand, sit or pray on the green carpet which is a garden from the gardens of Paradise.

The guards do put people into groups based on their nationalities but it's not something we've ever done. We go later, sit under these umbrellas and say our Salaam here. The green carpet, depending on the time of year, can be a crazy rush. It's better to say your Salaam peacefully at the back and then go forward into the main Rawdah. Again, it is something that has to be experienced to be understood and when you've done it once or twice, you'll figure out what's best for you. 

Walking back through the mosque after completing our Salaam.

One of the sliding domes in the roof was open letting in the night breeze.

Walking past the green dome to our hotel!

This drinks kiosk was right outside our hotel.

It's where I bought all the cold drinks that made me ill! :)

Our last morning in Madinah!

It was Saturday morning and we would drive to Jeddah through the day, ready to board a flight back to Manchester on Sunday morning.

Oh my gosh, so I had to include pictures of this crazy incident that happened on our way to Jeddah. We were nearly there when we came upon an big accident on the motorway. 

In England, if there's a motorway accident, everyone waits patiently in orderly queues until the emergency services come to help and clear that section of the motorway. Not in Saudi, my friends!

In Saudi, well in this particular incident anyway, people try to get their cars off the road and into the sandy desert on the side in an attempt to somehow drive past the accident and then drive their cars back up onto the motorway. Our driver did just that not realising that it was practically impossible to get the jeep back up onto the road over a very steep sandy hill.

He took the second option which was to drive through the motorway barrier and into the desert itself. The barrier was made of wire and at one point, the car nearly took the entire barrier with it. Alhmdulillah, we made it out safely and started driving, hoping for a way back onto the motorway soon. 

Alhamdulillah, we drove for a few minutes before randomly finding a tiny town. It had a mosque which actually had English toilets and working air conditioning. The perfect desert oasis after what we'd just been through!

Night flight to Manchester!



Arriving in Manchester! How do people in these houses sleep with giant aeroplanes flying past at 8am on a Sunday morning?!

Alhamdulillah, we made it!

I hope you enjoyed my Madinah photo diary. Have you been? What was your favourite part? 

Keep me in your duas please!

Assalamu alaikum wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuhu!

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